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Comment Re:Refuse the search? (Score 1) 923

If they want to ask you questions, it's up to you but if you have *anything* to hide, I'd recommend you decline.

You may want to watch this video and then take out the part between the commas. It's 48 minutes well spent. tl;dr (or dw) version: Never, ever talk to police. Ever. It can't help you. (Of course, as my .sig says, this isn't legal advice.)

Comment Re:Oh Please (Score 1) 256

I'm not trying to incite a God vs. Science battle. I accept both, so I have no dog in the fight. And the fact that we could possibly test cosmological models with godlike powers and immortality does not contribute anything to our current scientific understanding. One could just as easily say, "I can prove that God exists by standing in His presence." Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't investigate evolution or cosmology. My point is that we should avoid the type of hubris that leads some fundamentalist Christians to believe the value of pi is exactly three because the Bible describes a city wall as having a diameter of ten cubits and a circumference of thirty cubits, therefore God has decreed the exact value of pi. Instead, let's be realistic about what we do and do not know and not pretend that some god of science has decreed the absolute truth of our current evolutionary model from the top of a mountain.

Comment Re:Pinch Me, I Must Be Zooming (Score 5, Informative) 110

I am a registered patent attorney. I live and breathe patents every day. I know what the duty of disclosure is. You do not. You sound like a twelve-year-old telling Richard Stallman that he doesn't know what the Free Software Foundation is all about because he heard the term "free software" and thought it was about warez. It's nice that you have the Google skills to find a link to the MPEP, but perhaps you should also try reading your own links. And while you're at it, read chapter 700 of the MPEP. Or at least read this page (the one that instructs the examiner to perform a search). Then try reading some patent file wrappers, and look at the examiner's search strategy that he puts in the record before every office action. And while we're at it, your misdirected ad hominem attack and your misuse of prima facie make you look all the more foolish (and yes, I'm aware that you pulled that phrase from s. 2001, but you don't understand what it means).

In short, you are clueless about how patents work, as are most people on Slashdot, who think that patent prosecution is merely a ministerial act of rubber stamping an application. Patent prosecution is arduous and expensive. While there are occasional cases where examiners allow questionable claims, I have also had many, many opportunities to personally deal with examiners rejected claims on sorely strained arguments. Under W's appointee Jon Dudas (who was not even statutorily qualified for the post), the "Reject Everything" culture got so bad that the patent bar was practically in open revolt. You really have no idea what you're talking about.

Comment Re:Pinch Me, I Must Be Zooming (Score 2) 110

I'm not saying its the patent offices job to search for prior art,

Yes it is. That is exactly their job.

Since we are now on a first to file basis, the idea of imposing a 1 year public comment period commencing just after the Patent office published an intent-to-award notice would seem a reasonable extension to the patent process. It would put the community or others in the field on notice of which patents need attention.

That is a non-sequiter. What does first-to-file have to do with anything? That only comes into play if Samsung for example filed a patent application, and then Apple filed one later and wanted to prove that they had invented first. What's more, this is a bad idea regardless. Your patent term is calculated from your earliest priority date, which means that we arbitrarily deprive patentees of one year of term, or we tack a year on to every patent term, which doesn't seem like it would jive with the Slashdot anti-IP philosophy. And as a practical matter, when do you decide that prior art is significant enough to warrant reopening prosecution after it has been closed because somebody sent it some prior art? Who decides, for that matter? Are you going to make the patent examiner dig through a pile of crap every time, after prosecution has closed?

There is already an opposition period after a patent publishes, while it is still in prosecution. That's the time for you to muster your prior art and submit it to the examiner so he can look at it when it makes sense. After it's allowed is the worst time to do this.

Comment Re:Oh Please (Score 0) 256

If it can't be tested, it's not science*.

You mean like evolution (beyond minor intraspecies variations), or all of cosmology and astronomy, or climate theories? The best we can do for any of these is back into a theory based on the scraps of evidence we can gather, and then "test" the theory with computer models, which is not the same thing as testing. We just don't live long enough to observe them on any kind of useful scale, and in many cases, we don't have the means to do any kind of controlled experiment (unless the U.S. government has a top-secret stellar nursery lying around somewhere). That doesn't mean that we should stop trying to understand our universe as best we can. But it does mean that we should take some things we think we know with a grain of salt.

Comment Re:The teacher's unions will oppose this (Score 1) 102

If memories can be implanted from outside, then education can be delivered this way, and the services of unionized teachers will no longer be for them to oppose this research and make several ad-hominem attacks on it.

Unionized teachers, no. But there will always be room for real teachers who do something more than raw data transfer.

Comment Re:It's a Losing Battle (Score 1) 58

How are you handling citations?

While there've been a few developments recently, there still doesn't seem to be a single, comprehensive reference solution which will handle all of the (idiosyncratic) Bluebook style rules.

William (who always just uses \frenchspacing in his .tex documents)

I did take a gander at a "bluebook.sty" file where I could do something like \case{} with some parameters or keys, but it was never very useful because it ended up making me type more than just formatting the reference manually. Someday when I'm really ambitious, I may do one that links in to some external program that automatically inserts all the extra information and also creates a link to Westlaw or something (and KeyCites it, while I'm dreaming big). But I'm nowhere near that right now. And since I don't litigate anymore, I've stopped caring much.

Comment Re:It's a Losing Battle (Score 1) 58

1. It creates distracting rivers of white space. That's a non-arbitrary argument.

2. Manually inserting two consecutive whitespace characters of any kind is hackish. It is using content to approximate form. That's another non-arbitrary argument.

The fact that you remain unconvinced (presumably because you prefer two spaces) does not mean they are not arguments. Perhaps you could share with me your non-arbitrary argument on the benefit of two spaces.

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